Lakshadeepam marks culmination of Murajapam at Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple

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The 56- day Murajapam ritual at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple here culminated in a grand spectacle on January 15 with the temple and its precints bathed in the light of one lakh lamps signifying the Lakshadeepam festival. Colourful electric bulbs and earthen lamps lit up the temple gopuram and the banks of the Padmatheertham temple pond in an ethereal glow.

Around 200 vedic scholars including priests from Kanchipuram and Pejawar maths and representatives from various Brahmin associations and Yoga Kshema Sabhas in Kerala conducted the Murajapam which involves ceremonial chanting of the Vedas in seven sessions lasting eight days each. The idols of Sree Padmanabha Swamy, Narasimha and Thiruvambadi Sree Krishna were displayed at the seeveli procession held every eight days.

Cultural events including a light and sound show were conducted as part of the festivities.

Hoary tradition

The Murajapam dates back to the 18th century with the first edition held in 1747 during the reign of Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma, the architect of Travancore.

One of the main rituals of the Murajapam was the Jalajapam during which the priests stand in the Padmatheertham and chant hymns. The Jalajapam was revived this year after nearly a century.

Thousands of people from the city and other parts of the state and beyond turned up to witness the Lakshadeepam. The police had made elaborate traffic and security arrangments to ensure smooth flow of people.

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